Today, the National Weather Service presented the Salt Lake City Department of Public Utilities team with its Honored Institution Award for providing over 100 years of daily weather observations at the Big Cottonwood Water Treatment Plant.
The century of documentation has been essential to the NWS in tracking long-term weather and climate trends for the Mountain West and United States. The plant operations team collects the data at the Cottonwood Weir (weather station) as part of the NWS Cooperative Observer Program (COOP).
“It’s an honor to collaborate with the National Weather Service and to be recognized for our contributions to their research,” said Laura Briefer, Director of the Department of Public Utilities. “Our mission as a utility provider is directly linked to understanding our weather patterns, protecting our watershed, and building resilience in the face of climate change.”
“Nearly 10,000 COOP volunteers work nationwide to take daily weather observations for NWS, said Lisa Verzella, Observations Program Leader. “The consistent weather data provided by the Department weather observers is immensely helpful to all of us in the Salt Lake City area.”
Randy Graham, NWS Meteorologist-in-Charge and Lisa Verzella presented the award to Laura Briefer on behalf of the Department.
This is the second time the Department has been honored for a century of weather monitoring. Last year, the Watershed Division received the Honored Institution Award for 100 years of collecting weather data at the Silver Lake site at Brighton in Big Cottonwood Canyon.